Volume 95, Issue 52

Tuesday, December 4, 2001
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UWO, staff reach tentative deal

Female student assaulted

Huron receives the "Wright" donation

Teach-in: Plenty of talk, little discussion

Support for abused women just a call away

What about the table? UWO get research chairs

Even more double cohort discussion

News Briefs

Even more double cohort discussion

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

A town hall meeting was held last Thursday night at South Secondary School in London concerning the double cohort soon to arrive at Ontario universities.

Between 2003-2005, enrollment at Ontario universities will see a huge increase due to changes in the high school curriculum and the large number of baby boomer children passing through the system.

Western has been involved in a province-wide initiative to make sure the available places for students is equal to the total demand, said Western president Paul Davenport.

"[Western] is very concerned that we will need more resources," Davenport said at the forum.

An additional 350 new faculty members need to be hired between 2001 and 2005, he added. "[Without these faculty members] we would be in a situation where we would have to review student enrollment and face an increase in student/faculty ratio, which is unfair to the incoming students."

"The [provincial] government has to increase the regular operating budgets so [schools] can go out and hire the new faculty members required," said Henry Jacek, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association, that sponsored the forum.

In the last 10 years, over 2,000 faculty positions were lost across the province, he said. "Over four years, $500 million for all the schools in Ontario is needed," he said.

Tanya Cholakov, spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the government is committed to making sure every willing and qualified student will be able to attend university.

"Our numbers show for an increase of 78,000 students by 2005-2006," she said.

The province has put in place a number of initiatives to help with the expected increase in students, Cholakov said.

In 2000, the government placed a tuition cap on schools, allowing them to increase no more than two per cent a year. As well, the SuperBuild fund has invested $1.8 billion and created 73,000 spaces for students across the province. In terms of faculty, the province offers initiatives in the form of operating grants, Cholakov added.

"The Ontario Innovation Trust will invest $750 million in research infrastructure. As well, the Premier's Research Excellency Awards will invest $85 million over 10 years toward praising young faculty members," Cholakov said.

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